Environmentalists and designers John and Cynthia Hardy wanted to motivate communities to live sustainably. Part of that effort was to show people how to build with sustainable materials, namely bamboo. They established the Green School, and its affiliates: the Meranggi Foundation, which develops plantations of bamboo plants through presenting bamboo seedlings to local rice farmers; and PT Bambu, a for-profit design and construction company that promotes the use of bamboo as a primary building material, in an effort to avoid the further depletion of rainforests.
The Green School, a giant laboratory built by PT Bambu, is located on a sustainable campus straddling both sides of the Ayung River in Sibang Kaja, Bali, within a lush jungle with native plants and trees growing alongside sustainable organic gardens. The campus is powered by a number of alternative energy sources, including a bamboo sawdust hot water and cooking system, a hydro-powered vortex generator and solar panels. Campus buildings include classrooms, gym, assembly spaces, faculty housing, offices, cafes and bathrooms. A range of architecturally significant spaces from large multi-storey communal gathering places to much smaller classrooms are a feature of the campus. Local bamboo, grown using sustainable methods, is used in innovative and experimental ways that demonstrate its architectural possibilities. The result is a holistic green community with a strong educational mandate that seeks to inspire students to be more curious, more engaged and more passionate about the environment and the planet.